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OKA brigade can do better than focus on Raila, Ruto

By Hesbon Owilla
Monday, September 13th, 2021 06:00 | 3 mins read
ODM leader Raila Odinga with Deputy President William Ruto.Photo/PD

A lot happened in the past week, but the clincher is the official removal of Kenya from the Piracy red list.

This is a boost to the grand investments on infrastructure like the Standard Gauge Railway, the Lamu Port and the Port of Kisumu.

The move will no doubt boost sea trade and socio-economic activities within Kenya and regionally .

Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan who depend on the port of Mombasa for exports and imports are well poised to benefit. 

One would have expected that the leading political leaders would speak to the emergent easing of restrictions, increased surveillance and the joint maritime patrols by the Kenya Coast Guard Services and the Kenya Navy and how they will leverage on this development, to boost trade and enhance the capacity of agricultural producers in the hinterland. 

But the jostling for the flag bearer in the supposed grand opposition heating up with focus on discrediting rivals rather than articulation of issues.

Nasa and OKA are not giving each other breathing space, with ODM’s Jimi Wanjigi emerging as a new entrant in a fairly interesting fashion.  

However, it is increasingly clear that even with all these, the centrality of President Uhuru Kenyatta looms large.

Not because he will endorse a presidential candidate, but because, his latest development record will inform the campaign messages. 

Aligning with the development track record and helping the public understand how the continuation with Uhuru’s legacy projects, will be a game changer. These presidential candidates must rise beyond politicking.

Recently the Kamba nation leaders came out and made a strong statement to their leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

This came a few months after their kingpin had claimed that he would be mad to support Raila Odinga.

Similar sentiments have been made by former Nasa principals many times. Interestingly, Raila has not declared his interest, at least not officially. 

But that is not the question because there are all indications that he will be on the ballot.

The crux here is why leaders who want to lead this country take months to break away from Nasa, from OKA  but perpetually focus, talk and address themselves to Raila and William Ruto and not the people. 

You cannot stop a politician from berating strong rivals, but at least we can remind them that their presidential ambitions should be anchored on their manifesto.

Therefore, all these lieutenants of Kalonzo, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula should know that they would serve the interests of their kingpins better by focusing, not on why they will not support Raila but on why they should be given the mandate to occupy the top seat. 

And while at it, they need to try as much as possible to unshackle themselves from Raila and pull their weight, by convincing Kenyans that they can marshal a presidential campaign.

They can only do this by making a decision this early on who among them will be the flag-bearer and the running mate. 

OKA members would do better to borrow a leaf from the NAK of 2002 and make themselves formidable; that is if they mean business. 

This for them should be the most important agenda, if they are serious about their ambitions and wrestling the lead the Deputy President DP) William Ruto has amassed.

The strength of the DP in the Mount Kenya region manifested itself in the little fights and bickering by potential 2022 parliamentary, senatorial and gubernatorial candidates in a manner that should jolt his competitors. 

When you see candidates jostling and angling for the UDA ticket in the Mount Kenya region with the zeal, then you have to pay attention.

The DP is in the lead as we speak and with the cluelessness of OKA and Baba’s lieutenants’ lethargy in taking his message to the grassroots,  things are increasingly looking bleak for all the former Nasa principals. [email protected]  

Hesbon Owilla

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